Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy (SBRT)

Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy (SBRT) is a radiation therapy approach which delivers high dose radiation to a target within the body, in either a single or up to five treatment sessions. It is similar to central nervous system stereotactic radiosurgery, except that it deals with tumors outside the central nervous system (CNS).

How does SBRT work?

Stereotactic refers to the use of a specifically designed coordinate- system to locate small targets inside the body. This specialized form of radiation involves the use of multiple, highly precise radiation beams to safely deliver high doses of radiation to the tumour, with very sharp dose gradient outside the tumor and the surrounding normal tissue, in a manner not achievable by standard conventional radiation therapy.

The ability to deliver SBRT has been made possible by the use of better quality imaging e.g. CT scans, PET, MRT as well as other advanced imaging platforms to localize the tumor in four dimensions. Unlike tumours in the brain, tumours in the body can move with respiration which has to beaccounted for.

As this type of treatment requires millimeter precision, it utilizes accurate methods to ensure that radiation is focused on a small area of target area. Immobilisation devices are equipment to ensure the patient does not move during the entire radiation therapy. These include head and neck ‘masks’ and body moulds.

 

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Benefits of SBRT

  • Minimally invasive and painless
  • Higher therapeutic ratio: Maximum tumour control and minimal side effects
  • An alternative for elderly and patients who are unfit for surgeries due to their medical comorbidities
  • Treated on an outpatient basis.
  • Resume their usual activities of daily living immediately after treatment.
  • Side effects of the treatment are dependent on the treatment site after consultation with our clinical oncologist.

The SBRT Journey

In- person consultation and patient evaluation for treatment suitability.
Customization of immobilization devices e.g. bodyfix

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Treatment planning imaging scans e.g. CT, MRI, PET.

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Clinical treatment

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Side effects of SBRT

Stereotactic radiotherapy targets the tumour very precisely and the risk of damage to normal surrounding tissues is low. Therefore the side effects may be less than with other types of radiotherapy.

Unfortunately you can still have side effects. As with any external beam radiotherapy, the side effects only affect the part of the body that the radiotherapy treatment is aimed at. However it has been found that side effects appear differently on different patients. Symptoms of its side effects may differ depending on cancer site, direction of radiation, and radiation dose.

It is important to discuss with your oncologist before the treatment and fully understand the possible side effects/adverse reactions and how to manage them when they actually appear.

Is SBRT suitable for me?

SBRT is generally used to treat small tumours in the following sites that cannot be removed surgically or treated effectively with conventional radiation therapy:

  • Spine
  • Lung
  • Liver
  • Pancreas
  • Prostate
  • Lymph Node Oligometastases

Click here to discuss with our radiation oncologist if this approach is an option for your specific condition. Treatment outcomes are different for each patient and not every cancer is suitable to be treated with SBRT. Our radiation oncologist will evaluate your eligibility for SBRT.

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